I LOVE when I get together with the #NorthIowaBloggers! Everytime we get together, attend a function, or plan something it’s always a different conglomeration of people and it’s always a good time! This past Monday was no different. Thanks to Val of Corn, Beans, Pigs, & Kids (even though she ended up not being able to make it) a group of us gathered at the Mason City, Iowa Applebee’s location for a #BeesMeetup. We warned Applebees via social media that we were coming for them and boy were they ready for us. They were ready not only on their social media platforms, but also the staff at the restaurant was ready for us! Thankfully (not sure if it was for us or them) we had an inside hook-up with Loni of Lifestyles of the Pantsless. Loni is a part-time waitress at Applebees and
warned prepped the staff for our arrival. The manager of the Mason City location was also kind enough to treat us to 9
The bloggers doing what they do best…being on our phones! Photo Credit to the Applbees hostess!
different types of appetizers from their menu! (Yes, there is only a few more and by ordering we ended up tasting every single one of them!) The staff was attentive, efficient, courteous, and very tolerable of our group with our chit chat, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, and requests for pictures!
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A couple of weeks ago I asked some of my blogging friends for recipes using roasts. You see, we get beef a half a cow at a time from farmers that we know well. We have it taken directly from their farm to our favorite locker (Lewright Meats in Eagle Grove, Iowa) and then it all comes home and fits (almost perfectly) in our upright freezer! For some reason we seem to have a lot of “extra” roasts, so I’ve been trying different things from Pepsi Roast (it was pretty tasty) to other recipes that were not so much! (That one with the red wine, gak!) Anyway, Jenny from In the Kitchen With Jenny was kind enough to share her Tostada recipe with me! (You can find her recipe HERE!) Now, mine were not hers! Hers inspired mine, but I will admit that I don’t keep a lot of spices in the house and didn’t have the majority of what she used to make hers, so I just went with the general idea and came up with my version of Shredded Beef Tostadas.
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I run first thing in the morning! My alarm goes off at 5:01 every weekday (don’t ask why 5:01…it goes back to college) and I get up and run or do core/strength training. When I’m done working out, I traditionally am not hungry nor do I have time to sit down and eat breakfast (if I want to make it to work on time)! So, I’m constantly looking for new healthy breakfasts, which are also yummy! In the last week I’ve stumbled across my new favorite breakfast!
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Today’s #TastyTuesday is a bit unconventional compared to those in the past. After being gone all weekend with T (more about that later), I have no recipes to feature and I’m actually at the point of needing to meal plan again! My family loves to eat and I love to try new things, but the boys (all three of them) are not always brave, so I have to be careful when meal planning. So, today I thought I’d share with you some tricks for meal planning, how I choose recipes for meal planning, and some of the recipes that I’m going to plan for.
Here are my 3 easy steps for meal planning:
- Meal Plan Before You Grocery Shop! Having made this mistake in the past, I can tell you that this is where you have to start. Find your recipes, compare the ingredients to those in your cupboard as to not overspend when shopping (we’re all on a budget, right?) and to properly use what you have in your pantry!!
- Don’t Overlook the Classics! I will be the first to admit that I have a tendancy to overlook the classic recipes. I love making new recipes so much that I forget to make the things that my guys love! I have now started meal planning by referencing my recipe box and picking out several recipes first and then fill in the blanks with new recipes. (If I’m only planning 1 week, then I’ll pick about 2 recipes. If I’m planning 2 weeks or more I will pick 4-5 recipes.) Traditionally the classic recipes can also utilize several ingredients in your pantry to also help you keep costs low!
- Create A Plan – once you’ve determined what you will make and you have all the ingredients, then it’s time to create a game plan. I strongly suggest mixing up and putting together as much as possible at one time. If you can dedicate a couple hours on a weekend this is best (at least if you work full-time like myself). Mix up and put together as many meals as possible and stash them away in the freezer for later use! This will make cooking suppers on a week night even more simple than just straight meal planning!
Now, that I’ve taken my own first two tips into consideration I have selected the following items for the next couple weeks (a few of these are carried over from previous plans)!
Now that I’ve selected my meals and done my grocery shopping, I am going to spend some time tonight putting as many together as possible! What’s on your plan right now? Good luck with your meal planning!
Remember, to help the Sheffield Public Library and Comment for a Cause!
Valentine’s Day is this weekend and when I think of cooking for T, I think of lasagna because that is proably his favorite meal. When I first started dating T he insisted that lasanga was lasagna was lasagna. I kept arguing this fact with him. He was famous for opening a jar of sauce, throwing in some hamburger and layering it with some noodles, baking it and calling it lasagna. I FINALLY got him to my mom’s house to have her lasagna and he’s never looked back!
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